Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences Experts

Allen J. Wilcox

Institut Pasteur de Bangui


Environmental toxins produce infertility, fetal loss and malformations in laboratory animals. These effects have been less well studied in humans and the Reproductive Epidemiology Group has worked to extend the study of environmental exposures to the area of human reproduction. Allen J. Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D., heads the Reproductive Epidemiology Group, and has a secondary appointment in the NIEHS Reproductive & Developmental Biology Laboratory. His research falls into three areas: fertility, conception and early pregnancy birth weight and preterm delivery fetal development and childhood health Fertility, Conception and Early Pregnancy Fertility and early pregnancy are vulnerable to environmental toxicants. Wilcox and his colleagues have developed many of the current methods for studying fertility and early pregnancy. In the 1980s he carried out a landmark study of early pregnancy that identified the earliest detectable pregnancy loss – that which occurs between implantation and clinical recognition. This study established that one-quarter of human pregnancies are lost before women are even aware they are pregnant. The study has provided a benchmark for subsequent studies of toxicant effects on early pregnancy loss.

Research Interest

Environmental Toxins & Human Reproduction

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